dental knowledge

Test Your Dental Knowledge

How much do you really know about your mouth? Most people understand basic brushing and flossing, but they may not realize the myriad of factors that influence dental health. Knowing how your lifestyle impacts your teeth and gums can help you make the best choices to protect your smile.

True or False: You don’t need to floss every day.
Answer: False. Brushing alone won’t protect your mouth from decay or gum disease. Floss gets hard-to-reach areas, cleaning out the plaque and bacteria that wreak havoc on your oral health.

True or False: Taking care of your tongue is important, so you should brush it regularly.
Answer: True. The tiny bumps on your tongue called papillae trap food and bacteria, which can cause bad breath. Brushing twice a day will keep your breath smelling great.

True or False: Soft drinks and sports drinks don’t damage teeth.
Answer: False. These beverages, as well as red wine and fruit juices, can lead to enamel erosion. It’s best to stick with water, but if you consume these drinks, rinse your mouth when you finish.

True or False: It’s okay to put your baby to bed with a bottle of juice or milk.
Answer: False. When you let your baby or toddler fall asleep with anything but water, you increase the risk of baby bottle tooth decay. This condition occurs because of prolonged bottle feeding, usually during sleep. Young children don’t have good plaque removal, so these beverages provide a breeding ground for bacteria.

True or False: Fluoride reduces decay 20 to 40 percent.
Answer: True. Drinking water with fluoride strengthens tooth enamel and also reduces the amount of acid that the bacteria in your mouth produce. Since fluoride was added to the drinking water supplies across the country, childhood cavity rates have dramatically dropped.


Schedule a dental cleaning appointment today at our Toronto dentists office.

Teeth whitening dentist

Teeth Whitening and Teeth Bleaching: What’s the Difference?

Having a bright, beautiful, white smile is something we all desire. It signals health and prosperity and leaves the best possible first impression a person can make. There are a host of products at the drug store that label themselves “whitening.” Whitening toothpastes, whitening mouth rinses, whitening strips, gels and creams all line the shelves, promising a “new you!” Your dentist, however, offers something labeled as “bleaching.” So what’s the difference? Which should you choose?

Your natural tooth is made up of two specific layers: enamel and dentin. The enamel layer is on the outside of the tooth. It’s the white part we see when someone smiles. It’s hard and heavily mineralized and can appear like porcelain. The dentin is the inner layer. It’s yellow in color and supports the enamel on the outside. Over time, your enamel naturally wears away and the yellow dentin color can begin to show through.

The term “whitening” is applied to any product that helps restore teeth to a natural color by removing debris and stains from a natural tooth’s surface. Any substance that restores the surface of a tooth’s enamel is a whitening product. Many whitening products contain a mild abrasive that removes leftover discoloration and food particles, leaving the enamel of the tooth smooth and white. Teeth whitening products combat stains caused by ageing and the discoloration left by many foods, or by smoking.

The FDA permits the term “bleaching” only for products that can whiten a tooth beyond their initial, natural color. Bleaching products contain active ingredients such as carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. The peroxide is activated so that it releases oxygen molecules that enter the tooth enamel and break down stains in a way that whitening products cannot. This activation can occur immediately, in the case of some in-office bleaching products, like laser whitening, or it can take several hours, as it can with custom take-home bleaching trays.

If you are considering brightening your smile, talk to Toronto teeth whitening dentist Dr. Cruz to see what product is best suited to your smile needs!

If you live in the Toronto area contact us today

kids dentist

Baby Teeth Basics

Babies obviously can’t take care of themselves, so parents have to handle all aspects of their care. Don’t forget their oral health! Parents need to lay the groundwork for lifelong good dental habits and healthy smiles for their children. Here are some answers to common questions about baby teeth.

Do baby teeth matter?
Primary, or baby, teeth are important. They help children chew naturally and speak clearly. They provide the place for adult teeth to grown in properly later.

Should I brush my baby’s teeth?
You should brush your baby’s teeth without toothpaste, using a small amount of water instead. Use a small, soft-bristled toothbrush at bedtime to remove plaque and bacteria from your baby’s teeth and gums.

When can I start using toothpaste?
Fluoride toothpaste can be implemented after age two, when a child can be trusted not to swallow the toothpaste. Only use a small amount of toothpaste, and watch the child carefully to ensure proper brushing and spitting out the toothpaste.

When should I take my child to the dentist?
Experts recommend taking your child to the dentist when their first tooth appears, or by their first birthday. Your child should be taken for dental visits every six months, or more often if your dentist has concerns.

Do I need a certain type of dentist for my child?
You may choose a pediatric dentist who has been trained specifically to treat children. Their goal is to teach children about oral hygiene and the importance of taking care of their teeth, as well as provide a comfortable experience in visiting the dentist. However, you may also choose a regular dentist to take care of your child’s oral health. It is up to you to decide which kind of dentist is right for your family.

We look forward to seeing you in our Toronto dental office

Emergency dentist in Toronto

What’s a Dental Emergency?

It may be obvious when you’re in a situation that requires immediate treatment by a dentist. Perhaps you’re in immense pain, or you’ve had a tooth knocked out or bleeding that won’t stop. Examples like this make it easy to decide you need help right away, but sometimes it’s not as clear. What are some other problems that may require emergency dental treatment?

Cracked teeth
A cracked or fractured tooth is serious, and often means that the tooth has been damaged both on the inside and the outside. Many times the tooth can’t be saved. If your tooth is broken, schedule an emergency appointment immediately. Remember, a cracked tooth is different than a chipped tooth, which is not as serious. You can usually wait to see your dentist at the next available opportunity for a chipped tooth.

Lost fillings
Some lost fillings require immediate care to avoid worse issues. Fillings protect your tooth’s root from exposure, so if the filling falls out your root can be uncovered and cause intense pain. There is also increased risk for damage to your tooth’s structure, so seeing your dentist as soon as possible is suggested.

Lost crown
If your crown falls out, call your dentist for an appointment as soon as possible. Until you can see the dentist, try putting the crown back in place using an over-the-counter dental adhesive. Do not use any products like Super Glue. If the crown won’t stay in place, make sure you take it to your appointment with you so that it can be re-cemented correctly.

If you have a painful swelling on your gum that resembles a pimple, it might be a serious condition called an abscess. It can damage gum tissue and teeth, as well as spread serious infection to your body. See your dentist immediately for proper treatment.


Emergency dentist in Toronto – Dr. Yolanda Cruz Dentistry

cosmetic dentistry

Types of “No-Prep” Veneers

Porcelain veneers have become a popular option in the past few years for dental patients who wish to brighten and repair their smile. While traditional porcelain veneers offer a lifelike quality and excellent durability, their placement usually requires the removal of some of the tooth surface enamel, which is an irreversible procedure.

A promising solution for patients who wish to avoid altering the tooth structure are no-prep or minimally invasive veneers. No-prep veneers offer the same advantages of traditional veneers but eliminate or reduce the need to grind, cut, or file down the teeth.

Lumineers are one of the most popular of the “no-prep” variety of veneers. Lumineers use an extremely thin veneer that is placed on the front side of your teeth. The placement of Lumineers does not require the modification of the natural tooth structure or the use of temporary veneers. Lumineers produce beautiful smiles for patients who prefer to not physically alter their teeth.

DURAthin veneers are similar to Lumineers in that they require no modification of the tooth structure or filing of the enamel. DURAthin veneers utilize very thin customized porcelain shells that match the shape and color of your teeth. These shells are roughly the width of a contact lens and are bonded to the front of your teeth. Because of their size and shape, DURAthin veneers are an ideal choice for correcting minor cosmetic dental issues.

Vivaneers are among the thinnest veneers available, making them easy to apply in as little as one office visit. Because they require no preparation to your natural tooth, there is no need for shots, drilling or anesthesia. If you are unhappy with the results, Vivaneers are easily reversible.

To find out if these or other “no-prep” veneer options would be a solution for improving your smile, schedule a consultation with a Toronto cosmetic dentist Dr. Cruz .

Do You Need a Root Canal Procedure?

When a tooth is seriously decayed or has become infected, a root canal procedure can be done to repair the tooth and save it. During the procedure, the nerve and pulp are removed, while the remainder of the center of the tooth is thoroughly cleaned and then carefully sealed to prevent infection.

“Root canal” is the term for the natural space within the tooth’s center. The tooth’s nerve is in the root canal, as is the pulp (or pulp chamber), which is the soft area within the root canal. Because the tooth’s nerve isn’t vital to a tooth’s health, removing it doesn’t prevent the normal functioning of the tooth.

Removing the nerve and the pulp is necessary in some cases to address irritation, inflammation and infection stemming from severe decay, damaged or deep fillings, cracked or chipped teeth or facial trauma. When the nerve tissue and pulp become damaged, bacteria begin to form within the pulp chamber. This can lead to a serious infection or abscessed tooth. An abscess can form when the infection spreads past the ends of the tooth roots.

Additionally, severe infections can lead to bone loss around the tip of the root or holes in the tooth that drain the infection into the gums or through the cheek into the skin. It can cause swelling that spreads to the face, head, or neck.

Sometimes, the only signs you need a root canal procedure are more minor. They can include tooth pain when applying pressure or chewing, discoloration (darkening) of the tooth, tenderness and/or swelling of the gum tissue, or a pimple or blemish on the gums that is recurring. Acute sensitivity to cold or hot temperatures that does not abate with time can also be a sign.

Talk to your dentist or endodontist (a dentist whose specialty is the cause, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases and trauma to the dental pulp or nerve of the tooth) about your concerns. Your dentist will know what to do so you may make the best decisions for your long-term tooth health.


If you live in the Toronto area and you need a root canal, contact our dental office today.


Are You a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?

Any patient who has lost a tooth through extraction or trauma desires the best, strongest, most natural-looking replacement available for that lost tooth. Dental implants are the best restorative treatment your dentist can provide.

Dental implants, commonly made of titanium, are very strong and function as the tooth’s natural root. After surgery by your dentist or oral surgeon, the dental implant fuses to the bone over time through a process called osseointegration, providing stimulation to the bone, preventing shrinkage, or resorption. Dental implants are designed to look natural and to function exactly as your healthy natural tooth would, whether you are smiling, chewing, or talking.

While dental implants are by far the most desirable of tooth restoration processes, not everyone is a good candidate for receiving them. Your dentist will advise you that good health is essential, and there are several diseases and conditions that can affect the success of a dental implant. Cancer, radiation to the jaws, alcoholism, smoking, uncontrolled diabetes, or advanced periodontitis (acute gum disease) may affect the process of osseointegration.

Your dental surgeon should be aware of each aspect of your medical history, including any medications you are currently taking. Be sure to include any over-the-counter medications as well as any herbal supplements or vitamins.

In the majority of cases, any patient who is of good health and who is a candidate for either routine oral surgery or dental extraction can consider dental implants for tooth replacement. Healthy gums and an appropriate amount of bone to sustain the implant are required. After the implant is in place, patients must continue with regular checkups, x-rays, and cleanings. To ensure the best possible results, good oral hygiene should continue. Patients should floss once a day and brush after meals or at least twice a day.

Talk to your implant dentist in Etobicoke about any questions you have regarding dental implants and to determine whether they are right for you.

If you live in the Etobicoke, contact us today

Home Remedies for Keeping Your Teeth White

Are your teeth looking less than their best because of dingy yellow or grey stains? As teeth age, some discoloration occurs naturally. However, many everyday drinks, foods, and even some mouthwashes can leave your teeth stained. The best way to brighten your teeth is to visit your dentist regularly and to get your teeth whitened professionally. If you are in-between appointments, you can use many effective home remedies.

Your grocery store aisles are full of do-it-yourself teeth whitening products. Teeth whitening kits are available that contain carbamide peroxide, a kind of bleach that removes surface stains as well as deeper stains and is able to change your natural tooth color. Many kits utilize a gel you apply directly to your teeth. Others have a tray that holds the gel and is then molded to the teeth and worn for a length of time over several weeks. The positive results can be seen immediately, and will improve over time.

Home whitening strips also help remove tooth stains. These strips come coated with a peroxide-based whitening gel and are thin and virtually invisible when applied. They are worn for several minutes a day for a week or more. You will see results quickly, but the results will be less evident than those obtained using a kit.

Using whitening toothpaste is a very popular and simple method of at-home teeth whitening. Unlike the aforementioned products, whitening toothpastes don’t change the natural color of your natural teeth.

Other at-home methods include baking soda, made into a paste, and brushed onto the teeth twice a month. Rinsing with hydrogen peroxide can also brighten your smile. Diets including strawberries, apples, celery, carrots, and citrus fruits have also been shown to brighten smiles. Dairy products, especially hard cheeses, contain lactic acid which can decrease gum disease, and contain calcium and vitamin D, which are important to your bones and teeth.

Use these at-home treatments to keep your smile bright in-between dental visits. Talk to your dentist in Etobicoke for more useful tips on keeping your smile bright year-round.

Schedule your appointment at our Etobicoke dental office

Etobicoke Dental Implant Surgery Recovery

Recovery from dental implant surgery depends on a variety of factors, including the type of procedures necessary to complete your treatment. Whether you have implant surgery in one stage or multiple stages, you may experience some of the following discomforts:

  • Minor bleeding
  • Pain at the implant site
  • Bruising or swelling of face and gums

Immediately following dental implant surgery, you will probably experience a few hours of numbness in your mouth caused by local anesthetic. If your dentist uses IV sedation, you will continue to feel drowsy for a few hours after the procedure. You should plan to rest for a full day following dental implant surgery. You may need to take over-the-counter painkillers to relieve pain in the extraction site.

The first two weeks after dental implant surgery are the most important time of recovery. Taking steps to avoid irritating the extraction site and minimizing the risk of infection are crucial to the success of the implant being able to fuse properly to the jawbone. Your dentist will provide you with a list of aftercare instructions to ensure the success of your implant surgery. If your implant surgeon gives you antibiotics or other types of medication, make sure to take them as directed.

The process for dental implants fusing with the natural bone can take several months to complete. It is vital that you keep all follow-up appointments so your dentist can check the progress of the implant’s integration. This timeframe varies depending on individual cases and treatments.

Because dental implants look natural and give you the full functionality of normal teeth, they can make a significant difference in your quality of life. A successful dental implant procedure can last a lifetime, and the benefits you will gain from implants make the recovery and healing time minor.

Our dental office is located in Etobicoke

Recovering From a Complicated Cosmetic Dentistry Procedure in Etobicoke

If you have had a cosmetic dentistry procedure that has required IV sedation, also known as “sleep dentistry,” you will need to follow some simple guidelines to recover as quickly and completely as possible.

IV sedation is most often used in more complicated cosmetic dental procedures, and can leave you feeling woozy, sleepy, or disoriented. You will not be able to drive yourself home following IV sedation. Ask a trusted friend, family member, or colleague to help you get home and to fill any necessary prescriptions.

You will need to prepare in advance of your procedure, especially regarding scheduling the treatment itself. Late week appointments are good for complex cosmetic treatments, as they allow you to recover over a weekend while missing a minimum of work.

Your gums and teeth may be sore, causing you to restrict your diet while your mouth heals. Prepare a selection of soft foods you can eat safely and comfortably. Foods like pudding, tepid soup, yogurt, applesauce, gelatin, or cottage cheese are all appropriate choices following a complex cosmetic dentistry procedure.

Do not eat very hot foods, especially if your mouth is still numb. You could seriously burn your mouth and not realize it until later, when the anesthesia lessens. Do not eat foods that require chewing, and do not consume alcohol while you are taking any painkillers. Do not drive while you are recovering and taking medication. Do not smoke, as this can slow the healing process.

Take an over-the-counter painkiller that contains anti-inflammatory properties, such as ibuprofen. Apply ice packs if necessary to your cheeks and elevate your head while you rest. Wearing loose-fitting clothing to your appointment allows you to be comfortable both in the cosmetic dental office and at home.

Have some movies or books on hand to pass the time while you recover. Don’t plan to send any important emails or to conduct business on the phone until you ascertain how the pain medicines affect you. All patients react differently to medications and should take care.

Talk to your cosmetic dentist today to ensure a successful and comfortable recovery from your cosmetic dentistry procedure.

Schedule your appointment at our Etobicoke dental office